Innovation in the farming and food sector is a vital issue to which Europe will need to devote significant attention and energy in the coming years, said David Byrne, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection.

At the Informal Agriculture Council in Nyborg today [Tuesday], Byrne said he regards it as essential in relation to food safety, tracability, food quality, new products and animal welfare. European policies look to further development on the basis of increased interaction between enterprise, research and consumer policies.

Commissioner Byrne said: "European consumers expect the food they eat to be safe and of high quality. They value variety of choice. They also expect it to be produced in accordance with good farming practices with respect for the environment and for the welfare of animals. They want to be informed, in a precise and accurate manner, about the composition, nutritional value, durability, origin and, in certain cases, the method of production of the food offered to them."

To see Byrne's statements on biotech, the conservation of traditional foodstuffs, animal welfare and EU enlargement, click here.